Do Wrongs Make A (Copy)Right? Illegal Works And Copyright Subsistence Under Australian Law

Jordan Leahy, Jani McCutcheon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Whether copyright subsists in works that were created in contravention of a law is a legal question that generates important social and policy issues. There are significant normative implications in granting wrongdoers a property right as powerful, enduring and extensive as copyright. This reward may encourage or at least normalise unlawful behaviour, and permit wrongdoers to profit from their misconduct. Yet, if copyright subsistence should be denied to such ‘illegal works’, determining the bases and threshold for exclusion of copyright will be difficult. This article interrogates these demanding issues, and ultimately argues that copyright will and should subsist in works created in contravention of law.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Intellectual Property Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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